Is Poker a Game of Skill or Luck?


This debate has been getting a lot of attention ever since the government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The act made the use of credit cards to fund games of chance, with the exception of fantasy sports, online lotteries, and horse/harness racing, on the internet illegal. Poker is included as a game of chance and therefore blocked.

Players across the United States immediately started insisting that poker is not a game of chance, but a game of skill in an attempt to counter the newly passed legislation. One of the biggest supporters of this viewpoint is the Poker Players Alliance. There certainly is a skill in poker but there is also a chance. So what influences the outcome of a game more – skill or chance?

The answer to that is, as it often is in poker, “it depends.” There are many factors that can influence how much of a role chance is going to play in a cash game or tournament versus how much skill. Skill needs time to play out that you can develop over time on daftar situs slot online terpercaya. Poker players often say “Skill wins in the long run.” So what wins in the short run?

It is common knowledge among poker players that chance is a factor in any given hand, but over many hands, poker skill will even things out and make a profit. This is great news for a cash game player, but what does that mean for poker tournaments?

Unlike cash games, tournament blinds and antes go up every round. This forces players to play hands to keep increasing their stack sizes. If they fail to build their chip stacks eventually the blinds and antes will be very large in comparison to the chips that the poker player holds. When this happens chance becomes more of a factor than skill. The player will usually need to select a hand to go all-in with pre-flop (skill) and hope (chance) it holds up, or in other words, he is looking to get lucky.

Tournament structure can also influence how much luck will influence the game. If it is a large field tournament or if the rounds have a short time limit then luck can play a larger role than skill.

When a player busts out of a tournament he forfeits whatever buy-in he paid and is finished. However, when a poker player loses a buy-in in a cash game, he can simply reach in his pocket and buy back in. With a proper bankroll in a cash game you can ride out the swings of luck and skill will prevail.

There is no easy answer to the question of skill over chance in poker. It is a very complicated scenario. As a poker player, my opinion is split. In tournaments overall, I feel luck prevails. Skill helps but as the stack sizes shrink compared to the size of the blinds and antes, you will need to get lucky somewhere along the line and your tournament life will depend on that. The tournament fields have gotten larger and fewer pros are winning them. Their skill is losing to luck.